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Banditos Baseball - The Prepared Win in HS Baseball
February 21, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - North Houston
High School Baseball… It's Not Just Putting on the Uniform
By Ray De Leon
Over the last several years, I have come to the realization that high school baseball is a lot more important that many people believe and great baseball coaches are at a premium.
Baseball is not just the smell of the fresh cut grass. It’s not just the newly painted base lines. It’s also not just throwing a lineup out there and seeing if a team can win and be successful. These high school baseball coaches work all year long preparing to put the best product on the field. They do not have enough time to worry about what the football coach or administration is doing. The best and the brightest shine through each season because they work their tails off all year long.
Now, there is a dark side to high school coaching. We’ve all heard about schools that just delegate someone to coach a sport. They pick the low man on the totem pole. These are the teachers who are looking to make a couple extra bucks by babysitting the kids that want to play ball. These kinds of coaches are not looking to develop talent. They are not looking to improve a kid on or off the field. They attend most practices. They want to look good in their nice, clean little baseball uniforms and make sure that their butts look good in the mirror. They want to make sure that someone is working the concession stand. They are the ones who, depending on your participation in the booster club, decides which kids starts this game or not.
The most successful coaches in high school baseball have it figured out. They have it down to a science. They are the ones that understand that the baseball season is not a few months long. They know that they cannot figure out a lineup during a three-day tryout. The winners know that the baseball season is a year-long endeavor now. They are watching what the scout teams are doing. They are the ones that keep track of what their players are doing all year long. They are building personal relationships with their players and know their line-ups BEFORE the tryout comes along. Come on, you may get one or two surprises during tryouts, but you know. They can rest assured that they not only know how their team (or specific players) will perform, but when they can expect certain results. Let me tell you another thing that is going to separate the winners from the losers. Knowledge of the game creates winners.
Prime example. The coaches that have already figured out how the new BBCOR bat rules are going to affect runs this coming season are going to win. They are ahead of the curve. Runs are going to be at a premium this coming season. Ask the guys that know. They are already considering that as the tryouts are happening. They are looking for the ATHLETES to compete under the new bat rules. They are going to play more small ball than ever. They are looking for kids who can lay the ball down and move the player over. They are looking for the hit-and-run type guys. Coaches will need to manufacture runs this year, like never before. I have always felt that defense and bunting were somewhat over-rated.
A saying that I will go to my grave with and something that I teach to all of the players in my organization…"If you hit, you do not sit!" This year, I will have to bite my tongue. Defense and laying the ball down is the priority. The new BBCOR bat rules will not let you get the cheap hits. Not many teams have monsters for hitters one-through-nine in their lineups. Most teams are stacked from the top five. Those hitters in the lower half of the lineup are going to need to do something different, but the winning coaches have already figured that out and are ready for the season to begin.
Let’s wait and see who the winning coaches are going to be this season. I bet it will be the ones that I have described above. The winners will be the ones that are prepared. The winners are the ones that know this sport and the changes that it goes through year to year. The winning coaches do not care if the shortstop’s dad painted the outfield fence or not. The winners are ready to play ball today. So, let’s play ball! Good luck to all of those dedicated high school coaches out there that have a true passion for the game.
For more information, check out www.banditosbaseballclub.com.